Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween House of Horror

While Americans will be having a day of fun today, dressing up in ghoulish (and other) costumes, going to parties, visiting houses of horror, and doing other spooky things, the terror never ends for millions of birds raised for meat in the US and it's going to get worse.  According to The Washington Post
Nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive each year in U.S. slaughterhouses, often because fast-moving lines fail to kill the birds before they are dropped into scalding water, Agriculture Department records show.  Now the USDA is finalizing a proposal that would allow poultry companies to accelerate their processing lines, with the aim of removing pathogens from the food supply and making plants more efficient. But that would also make the problem of inhumane treatment worse, according to government inspectors and experts in poultry slaughter.  USDA inspectors assigned to the plants say much of the cruel treatment they witness is tied to the rapid pace at which employees work, flipping live birds upside down and shackling their legs. If the birds are not properly secured, they might elude the automated blade and remain alive when they enter the scalder. Over the past five years, an annual average of 825,000 chickens and 18,000 turkeys died this way, USDA public reports show, representing less than 1 percent of the total processed. Government inspectors assigned to the plants document these kills, which are easily spotted because the birds’ skin becomes discolored.
It doesn't have to be this way.  For those of you who eat meat, you don't have to give it up in order to opt out of this cruel system.  Look to local farmers who raise their animals in healthy environments and slaughter them humanely.  Yes, it is more expensive but that's because of the time and care that goes into ethical practices.  At one conference I attended, someone brought up the issue of cost.  An attendee raised her hand and responded with the statement that the answer is to purchase the more expensive but humanely raised meat and to just eat less of it in order to stay within your budget.  
A typical "cage-free" egg facility
It's not just meat birds that are raised in inhumane conditions.  Chickens raised as "layers" in factory farms endure horrific conditions, a sad repayment for the eggs that they provide.
Photo: Heavy traffic on the way to work this morning.
Our hens enjoy freedoms that are unknown to factory chickens.  
So now that you know the true life horror story, you have a choice.  You can either continue to participate in the gruesome system, knowing the tortured lives of the creatures whose flesh you eat, or refuse to support the companies behind the cruelty by finding farms where chickens and turkeys are humanely raised.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, please consider serving a humanely raised and slaughtered turkey.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

As a long-time practitioner, I'm always happy to share good news about yoga:


Wellness Wednesday

Today I'm indulging in my love of infographics:


Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Morning Amusement

If you like goats, head over here to see some amazing photos.  Here's a sample from the site:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Quote for the Day

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act
but a habit."
~Aristotle

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Social Justice Saturday: The Scam of "Awareness"

I rarely go to stores anymore; mainly the grocery store for staples and a few treats.  So  I'm usually oblivious to all the pinkwashing that goes on during breast cancer "awareness" month.  I've blogged about this problem a number of times.  Here and here are a couple of examples.  Today I just want to share a graphic from The Onion that shows how utterly ridiculous some of the "awareness" campaigns are:



It's sad how we're duped into believing we're doing something good because the word "awareness" is attached to a serious disease - while corporations make millions.  

In sum:  While we need to find a cure, the best thing is to prevent breast cancer in the first place. Awareness is not a cure.  Mammograms are not a cure.  Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are not prevention.  Prevention is possible by discovering and eliminating the cause(s).  We are already aware of the thousands of carcinogens (in case you didn't know, carcinogen means "causes cancer") in our world; we need to work to avoid and eliminate them. The biggest obstacle to eliminating breast cancer:   there is no money to be made in prevention.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Farm Friday

We had our first "sustainable living" meeting last Saturday and it was quite a success.  We had 19 people show (including 2 children) and a number of others expressed an interest but were unable to attend.  After having a delicious pot luck meal, we settled down to business and discussed what everyone expected from such a group.  It seemed that most were in sync with what Bill and I were looking for so we expect a good turnout at next month's meeting.  While it most of the attendees are interested in sustainable and simple living, a few of us are also interested in the social justice aspects of our consumer society.  I want to help people connect the dots between our American lifestyle and suffering in the world - and to find ways to opt out of such a damaging system.
Some of the crates of sweet potatoes
This week we "got up" the sweet potatoes.  That involved Bill pulling up the vines and taking them away, then using the tractor to plow up the rows.  He lined up the potatoes along the trenches that he created and I went in and sorted and crated them for transporting to the basement.  I sorted them into three categories:  cut/damaged potatoes that we need to use right away or compost; decent-sized ones for the CSA members and for general selling; and small ones to use to grow "slips" (starter plants) for next year's harvest.  Then we hauled the boxes to our basement and laid out the larger potatoes  to"cure" for a couple of weeks.  Once they're cured, we will put them back in crates for storage.

Tomorrow is the last day of the market we've been going to.  I've connected with the owner of a health food store who wants us to vend in front of her store and we'll start that next month in order to create a market for our surplus.  We've increased our sales to individuals, outside of the market, and hope that continues throughout the fall and winter - as long as the gardens continue to produce.
Some of the 6,000+ walkers in Greensboro
On Sunday I and a fellow CROP Walk planning team member walked the Greensboro CROP Walk, which is the second largest CROP Walk in the US.  We decided it would be good to see how other cities conduct their walks and we picked up a few pointers to help us with our walk next year.  It was a fun event and a beautiful day.

Last night we were given the opportunity to have our granddaughter with us for a long weekend so we're looking forward to having her on the farm.  She always has a good time.  This time, though, she will get to go to the farmers' market with us and then to visit another farm for their customer appreciation event.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Good Customer Service

In past posts, I've complained about companies who have poor products and poor customer service.  Today I want to share a couple of experiences we've had with good customer service:

Last year Bill bought some waterproof boots from L.L. Bean.   He left them in the box for quite some time and waited until his older pair was completely unwearable.  A few short months into wearing the new boots and the sections started separation (rubber from leather).  We could not find a receipt showing when we purchased the boots.  However, upon contacting the company, they not only provided information on the purchase date, they also offered to replace them, free of charge.  All we need do was print out the shipping label (postage paid), put them in a box, and ship them out.  A couple of weeks later, the new boots arrived.  On top of that, they honored their current promotion of providing a $10 gift certificate with purchase.

Water Drop Kitchen 1
Source
Another company, Kohler, has given me great service.  Our kitchen faucet came with a life-time guarantee; however, I've come to learn that that doesn't always mean much.  With Kohler, they're true to their word.  I had already had them replace the spray nozzle on the unit.  Last week the hose cracked so I called them for a replacement part and they were ready to accommodate me.  While on the phone with the representative, I also mentioned another problem I was having, thinking they would say it was an issue for a plumber or try to wiggle out of responsibility in some way.  (Actually, I really did think it was a plumbing issue and not the fault of the product.)  To my surprise, the representative told me that there wasn't a part that could fix that problem and that they would be shipping me a brand-new unit.  No problem at all.  It arrived via UPS today.

So while I rail against companies that don't honor their warranties or have vague ones that don't really mean anything, I'm so glad to share my positive experiences with companies that know what good customer service is all about.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, I'm sharing this infographic:



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Taste of Tuesday

We've had an abundance of purple hull peas (a kind of black-eyed pea) and needed a new way to cook them.  I found the following recipe, based on a dish from Ghana, in Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon, and adapted it to use the fresh purple hull peas:

Red-Red Stew

1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained, divided
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
few dashes of paprika
1/4 t. cayenne powder
1 15-oz. can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (I just cooked fresh ones)
salt and pepper, to taste
cooked brown rice

Blend half of the diced tomatoes with the bouillon in a blender until more like crushed tomatoes, but not totally pureed, and set aside.  Line a large pot with a thin layer of water and saute onion, garlic, and ginger over high heat until soft and lighter in color, about 2 minutes.  Add paprika and cayenne powder, stirring to  coat.  Reduce heat to low and add all tomatoes.  Heat for a few minutes, stirring to combine.  Add beans and stir again.  Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until beans are warm.  Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve over brown rice.  (You can add a drop of agave nectar or pinch of sugar if it is too acidic.)

Bon apetit!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Morning Amusement

This happens around our house quite a bit - I thought it was unique to our pets' relationship:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quote for the Day

"Everyone needs beauty
as well as bread,
Places to play in
and pray in,
Where nature may heal 
and cheer,
And give strength
to body and soul alike."
~John Muir

Friday, October 18, 2013

Farm Friday

Where has the time gone?  Last week I didn't post a "Farm Friday" entry because one thing after another had me in overdrive.  This is my third year to work on the local CROP Hunger Walk planning team, which took place on the 6th.  Since I'm in charge of publicity, things heat up the two or three weeks before the walk and the few days after it.  We had a successful year, raising over $14,000 so far.  In addition, our daughter and one of her friends were in town that same weekend.  Since we hadn't seen either of them since the end of July, we put off some tasks so we would be available to spend time with them.  

Last Friday, we attended an event at the local agricultural center where we had a booth to promote our farm and CSA.  We're hoping we made some good contacts for the farm - and that we further spread the word about the importance of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating.  It's an uphill battle in our community.  As one friend who is in another of the neglected sectors of agriculture in this area said, "they only care about cows and tobacco, and tobacco just for the government allotment."  The power brokers in our area seem to be stuck in a time warp and are clueless as to the food revolution taking place across the US - and how important it can be for the local economy.  We're doing our part to educate them.

The fall crops are amazing, which is great after such a stressful summer.  As a result, we've returned to the farmers' market for the last few weeks.  We don't get the traffic that we saw in the summer but we're trying to spread the word to let regulars and new customers know we'll be there.  I also reached out to the owner of a health food store in a local town about selling some of our fall produce in front of her store after the farmers' market closes.  It should be a win-win for us both since it would give us another place to sell our goods and could draw new customers to her shop.  I'm looking forward to making new connections.

We've had a bounty of purple hull peas (a kind of black-eyed pea) and have been shelling them while watching movies.  Last night we watched The Greenhorns, a documentary about young farmers across the US (available to watch for free here).  Here's just a small portion of what's been harvested:
Photo: Purple hull peas in October.  Loving it.
Photo by Bill
We have three kinds of kale growing in the garden - Red Russian, Siberian, and Vates.  Here's a photo of one of our greens gardens:
Photo: Our fall gardens are loving this weather and coming in strong.
Photo by Bill
Bill will be taking the pigs to the processor next week so we will be selling "whole hog sausage" soon.  (Sad for me as a vegetarian; however, if you're going to eat meat, I think it should be from an animal that had a healthy, happy life - so unlike animals raised for agri-business meat.)

Tomorrow night we're hosting a "Piedmont Sustainable Living" gathering at our farm.  We want to connect with like-minded people to discuss sustainability, homesteading, simple living, environmentalism, social justice, etc. and ultimately have book discussions, host film viewings, and maybe even classes.  It will take a while to formulate what this group will look like.  I've been very encouraged by a movement called Transition, that was started by Rob Hopkins in England and has spread to 44 countries, and envision this group to become something similar.  Here's the link to the international organization and here's the link to the US organization.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Caring for Our Home

On Monday night Bill and I watched a documentary online while we shelled purple hull peas (similar to black-eyed peas) - because that's the kind of people we are.  



The documentary was Home, narrated by Glenn Close.  The photography was breathtaking but the message - until the end, which offered some hope - was extremely disturbing.  We are destroying our planet, plain and simple.  We need to wake up and recognize this fact before it's too late to reverse the damage.  

While these films are extremely upsetting and depressing, I feel compelled to watch them. Why?  I need to 1) remind myself not to take our resources and the living things on this planet for granted; 2) to have the facts to share with others so they might wake up and take action; 3) to reinforce my decision to live more simply.

Just like the scene in the movie the Matrix, where  the traitor Cypher says, "Ignorance is bliss." Sometimes I just want to eat a "steak," even though I know it's wrong.  Like Cypher in the clip, I want to forget about it all.  I want to forget that we're depleting our resources faster than they can be replaced, that my shopping choices literally enslave people in other parts of the world, that I'm culpable in all kinds of wrong.  I want to forget these truths and just enjoy the bounty that being a wealthy American brings me.  (And by the world's standard, almost all Americans are wealthy.)  

Because we're now have a global economy, I don't have to see the consequences of my lifestyle and choices - the trash heaps, the poisoned rivers and lakes, the fume-filled skies, the tortured animals, the child slaves and soldiers - so it's easy to ignore.  I can just step into the matrix and see the world as the corporations - the world's producers of consumer goods - want me to see it.  I can stop asking questions, doing research, learning.  But since I've taken the red pill (Matrix reference - you can see the clip here), what kind if person would that make me?  To continue living as if my choices and lifestyle are perfectly harmless and acceptable?

So I watch these documentaries to remind myself what I already know.  And also to encourage others to learn about the world - the real one, not the one where the Indians are taking "our" jobs or the Chinese are "poisoning us."  The real world is where people all over the globe want to live as we do and have the luxury goods, instant gratification, and disposable society that we've come to consider the American way of life.  The problem is that resources are limited and someone has to do the dirty work and suffer to get these things to those at the top, at minimal expense and maximum profits.  All this is made possible by the greedy corporations who search the earth for the cheapest labor and resources while at the same time delivering the goods that they created the desire for in the first place.  Once we see how we have been manipulated and the horrific consequences of our choices, it's immoral to continue to support the status quo.  

If you'd like to "take the red pill," watch the documentary - I highly recommend it.  Embedding isn't allowed via YouTube but you can watch it here.  (My only problem with the movie is that it has been made available free to the public by one of those giant corporations that peddles luxury goods.  Sigh.)

Here's a TED talk by the filmmaker, Yann Arthus-Bertrand:

Arthus-Bertrand sums up the problem:  "We don't want to believe what we know."  Now that you've seen this, you know - now believe it and do something.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wellness Wednesday - Infographic: The Painful Truth Behind Painkillers

Recently, actually the day after a friend's husband told me his horrific experience with a commonly prescribed painkiller, my daughter contacted me because she was feeling deathly ill while dealing with a case of strep throat.  I asked what the physician had prescribed - an antibiotic and a painkiller.  When I researched the painkiller, it turns out it was the generic for the very same drug my friend's husband warned me about.  I told her to stop taking it immediately and she began to feel much better.  I have since learned that this drug is banned in many European countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Great Britain, and that 99% of the world's supply of this drug is consumed by Americans.  It sounds like this dangerous drug is handed out like candy in the US.

Although there are definitely times when we need over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, it's important to know the risks involved.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taste of Tuesday

Over the weekend I made the most delicious stir fry and thought I'd share it here.  Since I made it up as I went along, I don't have specifics on quantities or cooking times but I think an experienced cook will be able to make it - or maybe even something better!  

File:Pak Choy (3697978780).jpg
I wish I had taken a photo - you'll have to be satisfied with this stock photo.

Pac Choi Stir Fry

Toasted sesame oil
Sunflower oil
Pac choi, stems separated from the greens and chopped; the greens thinly sliced
Carrots, cut into matchsticks
Zucchini, cut into matchsticks
Onion, thinly sliced
Mung bean sprouts (homegrown)
Short-grain brown rice
Peanuts, crushed
Asian sauce of your choice - soy, tamari, stir fry sauce, etc.

I heated a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil with some sunflower oil and stir fried the pac choi stems, carrots, zucchini, and onion.  I added the pac choi greens and cooked until they were almost wilted, then added the mung bean sprouts until they were heated through.  I served this mixture with the brown rice and sauce, and sprinkled the peanuts over the top.

Bon appetit!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Morning Amusement

This voicemail message may or may not be real - I have serious doubts - but I think it's still funny:


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quote for the Day

"Life is such a miracle, and a lot of the time we feel only resentment about how it's all working out for us."
~Pema Chodren

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

File:Brain - Lobes.png
Source
Last week I found this article on how our brains work.  I've put the highlights below - you can go to the article to read the details:

  • Your brain is more creative when you're tired
  • Stress can make your brain smaller
  • Our brains cannot multitask
  • Naps are beneficial to our brains
  • Vision trumps other senses
  • Introverts and extroverts are wired differently
  • People who make mistakes are more likable
  • Meditation can change your brain
  • Exercise is good for your brain
  • You can change your perception of time

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quote for the Day

"Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave."
~Indira Gandhi


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Social Justice Saturday: Food Security

Since tomorrow is our area's CROP Hunger Walk, I thought I'd briefly focus on the area of food security or insecurity.  Since I've been doing work in Haiti and in our local community, I've become more aware of some of the reasons why people don't get proper nourishment.  Sometimes they don't have anything to eat and other times they have plenty to eat but it's the wrong kind of food.  In both cases, a partial solution is gardening.

In Haiti (and similar spots around the world), fewer and fewer people are able to grow their own food.  There are numerous factors that cause this situation, including environmental degradation, wars, political instability, and international policy.  In The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard tells a story about being approached by a Haitian man who quietly told her that the US government was trying to "drive Haitians off their land and into the city to sew clothes for rich Americans."  She thought this was a crazy conspiracy theory until she spoke with a USAID representative.  This government worker said that the organization did not feel it was "'efficient' for Haitians to produce food.  Instead...they should participate in the global economy, leveraging their best resources, which apparently meant many thousands of people so near starvation that they would be willing to sew Sleeping Beauty pajamas from morning to night, endure physical and sexual threats, live in slums, only to be able to feed their kids half a meal a day."  He continued to tell her that "local food sufficiency was not desirable or needed...a better concept is 'food security,' which means that a population didn't need to grow its own food but should instead import food from the United States."  This program only makes sense to American farmers who get a new market for subsidized food, especially rice, and clothing manufacturers who are no longer bound by US labor requirements such as minimum wage and safety precautions.  It is certainly not helping the people.  We hear over and over again about the importance of industrial farming in the US because we "feed the world."  Shouldn't the world be able to feed itself?



Another reason gardening is important is that many low income individuals in the United States live in what is called a "food desert."  That is an area where residents do not have access to stores that sell healthy food.  Often in poor communities residents are forced to source their food from either convenience stores or fast food restaurants.  A few weeks ago my husband and I were driving into town and we passed some public housing that we've driven by many times.  It suddenly occurred to me that its residents were in a food desert.  There is a gas station/convenience store across the street and that is the only food source for several miles.   Since many low income individuals don't own cars, the only way to get to a grocery store is to walk or take a bus.  Neither option is conducive to transporting several bags of groceries home.  Having a community garden would help fill the void.  

On a side note, why was the housing built in a place that made it nearly impossible for residents to have access to food?  Many families live in this development.  For children, it is vital for their physical and mental development to get the nutrients only available through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, especially in the first 1000 days of life.  By putting housing in a place without access to healthy food, generations of children may not reach their full potential.

Being 100% dependent on others for food, especially for poor countries or individuals, doesn't make any sense.  And it certainly isn't just when policy, both local and international, force people into that position.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Farm Friday

Today's post will be a quick one - without photos.  I'm working on our community's CROP Hunger Walk which will take place Sunday afternoon and, if you're not familiar with these walks, go to Church World Service website to learn more, to find out if there's one in your area, or if not, to learn about starting one!  The Walks, which are sponsored by Church World Service, focus on hunger issues, both nationally and abroad.  

Part of my job as the publicity chairperson for our walk is to pick up a character costume, called "Skippy", from the organizer of a neighboring walk.  This morning I drove the hour or so to get Skippy and was amazed by all of the beautiful wild flowers planted along the highway.  Large patches of flowers have been planted by whatever agency handles the highway maintenance and landscaping and they're in full bloom.  I wanted to stop to take some photos but it's really not safe to stop on a four lane highway.  While in "the big city," I stopped by Earth Fare, a store similar to Whole Foods, to pick up some bulk ingredients and staples that we can't produce on the farm.  A fellow shopper was looking for something called farro and, when she described it, I decided I just had to try some.  It sounded delicious!

Although our summer crops didn't do well this year - for a variety of reasons that I've mentioned in the past - our fall crops and a few late summer crops are making up for it.  We've done so well, that Bill will be at the farmers' market tomorrow morning selling, among other things, red Russian kale, collard greens, purple hull peas (a kind of black-eyed pea), shiitake mushrooms, La Ratte fingerling potatoes, and farm-fresh eggs.  

I won't be able to work the market tomorrow as I have another errand to run for Sunday's Walk.  A local food service company has generously donated apples to us for snacks for all the walkers and I have to pick them up.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Journey to Sustainability

Sometimes I have to remind myself that becoming environmentally sustainable is a journey and that we're all at different points on that journey.

Over the last few weeks, I've met women who shared my philosophy of striving for a chemical-free life and world, only to discover that they're representatives for companies that manufacture "green" cosmetics.  A quick skim of their catalogs made me realize I would not purchase products from either company.  From the first page, I realized they were not for me.  First of all, the products are packaged in plastic - plastic tubes, tubs, and jars.  The manufacture, use, and disposal of plastic spews all kinds of nasty chemicals into the atmosphere, soil, and even our bodies.  Secondly, they have multiple lines of skin care products.  Cleansing, toning, moisturizing, anti-ageing, etc.  The fact is, we don't need all of those products.  And if there was any anti-ageing product that really worked, everyone would buy it and we would never get wrinkles.

But I have to remember we don't all arrive at the destination at the same time, that it takes a while to get to the end.  It's a bit like living in a room that has no windows.  One day you discover there's a hole in the wall and you can see light coming through it.  As you slowly approach, you see there is grass, the sky, a house.  When you're finally able to put your eye to the hole, you can see there's an entire world out there.  The same with sustainability.  

You might start with a health problem and learn that it's linked to food.  When you research food, you learn about the chemicals in the food and soil and about animal abuse.  You discover how companies make lagoons of animal manure.  Then you move on to water issues which leads into all kinds of areas.  You find out about how we're depleting our natural resources.  You start recycling but then discover that's not the ultimate answer.  You're stunned to find out that slavery still exists and that wars are fought over resources.  You might end at a point where you realize it's best to live simply, to avoid manufactured items, to grow your own food, and to take charge of your own healthcare.  

As it can be overwhelming at times, I don't want to discourage anyone who has taken the first steps in this long journey.  But I do want to find ways to help them move further down the road, to not stop at the first rest stop and believe that is the destination.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Pills
Source
These days it seems that almost everyone I talk to is taking statins (e.g. Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Zocor), prescription drugs designed to lower cholesterol levels.  My research revealed that 25% of American adults over 45 are taking statins.  While I don't want to argue with medical professionals (especially not being one myself) this seems extreme.  Common sense tells me that either something external is causing these high levels, so the focus should be on eliminating those causes, or that most of the levels we see are entirely natural and shouldn't be medicated.  However, either of these answers won't increase revenue for those benefiting from the cholesterol issue.

A story on Alternet reveals that, although many Americans are taking statins, these drugs were designed only for individuals who have experienced heart attacks or strokes.  And only one study has shown that statins might decrease arterial plaque, which is believed to cause heart attacks.  However, other experts say that inflammation is the culprit  and that the old prescription of aspirin works fine and so does red yeast rice, a natural supplement.  The problem is that aspirin and natural supplements don't pad the pocketbooks of Big Pharma.  

Another cause for the wide use of statins is the redefining of what is considered high cholesterol levels.  When the medical world lowered the numbers, it made 23 million people candidates for those drugs.  It's interesting to note that on the 9 member panel that made the determination, 8 of those members had ties to Big Pharma.

These drugs are not easy on the wallet.  The typical cost is $100 a month.  Compare that with the $13-$20 a month cost for red yeast rice.  Or the even lower cost of a bottle of generic aspirin (less than $15 for 1000).  Between the one study that suggested statins might be used to prevent cardiovascular disease and lowering the numbers of acceptable cholesterol levels, think of the money that Big Pharma is raking in.  (Notice the trend?)

For my readers who are taking a prophylactic dose of a statin, I recommend you do your own research to determine if it is right for you.